(26-28, 15-11 A-Sun)
(36-18, 18-8 A-Sun)
5/17/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 192
|Loss: Austin Perez
FORT MYERS, Fla. – With Atlantic Sun Championship seedings still up for grabs as the final weekend of league plays out, the FGCU baseball team continued to help its cause on Friday evening at Swanson Stadium, earning a series win over the in-state rival Stetson with a 9-6 game two victory.
The two teams return to Swanson Stadium for the final game of the regular season on Saturday starting at 1 p.m., with the Senior Day ceremony commencing prior to the game.
FGCU’s record climbs to 36-18 as they now sit at 18-8 in A-Sun action, while the Hatters fell to 26-28 (15-11 A-Sun) this season in the loss. The victory secures the fourth-straight A-Sun series win for the Green and Blue, as they have now won 12 of their last 14 league meetings.
The top three teams in the A-Sun standings remained the same on Friday with Mercer (41-14, 19-7 A-Sun) defeating Northern Kentucky, 9-5, to maintain the top spot, and North Florida (38-16, 18-8 A-Sun) taking down USC Upstate, 6-2, to stay in a share of second place with FGCU.
“I think our offense really picked up our pitching for the first time in about two weeks,” said head coach Dave Tollett. “Our pitching was not very good tonight but our offense was outstanding and they did an absolutely great job of keeping us in the ballgame. The double by Rivera was huge, the three runs that scored gave us a four-run cushion at the time and it was a big hit that we needed.”
Opening their first chance of the game with five straight hits, the Eagles jumped out to a 3-0 lead. After senior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) started the inning with a single into shallow centerfield, sophomore Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) quickly made it a 2-0 game with an opposite field home run over the right-center field wall. With the longball, the Bradenton, Fla. product now leads the Green and Blue with nine round-trippers on the year.
The inning didn’t stop there as juniors Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South Fork HS) and Sean Dwyer (Tavares, Fla./Tavares HS) connected for consecutive singles, and redshirt senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Auburn) made good of the scoring opportunity with a RBI single through the left side that scored Bednar from second base.
Stetson rallied with three runs in the top of the second to level the game. A walk and a single to start the inning put runners on first and second, and a double down the right field line from Mitchel Brennan scored the first run for the Hatters and put runners on second and third. The second run of the frame came on a sacrifice fly to deep left field and another double into right field made the score even heading to the third.
Starting the fourth inning with a swinging strikeout, the Hatters came back with a double to right center and a single through the right side to place runners on the corners. Establishing its first lead in the series, Stetson moved ahead 4-3 in the game on a balk.
FGCU regained the lead in the fourth with a trio of runs. Beisner’s single and freshman Nick Rivera’s (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) double set up a sacrifice fly to left field for sophomore Zack Tillery (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS). Freshman Colton Bottomley (Davie, Fla./Marjorie Stoneman Douglas HS) was able to reach on a fielder’s choice and come around to score on a single into right field by redshirt sophomore Alex Diaz (Miami, Fla./Ferguson HS), which was misplayed by the Stetson outfielder. A secondary throwing error on the same play to right field allowed Diaz to advance all the way to third and later come in to score on a two-out double down the left field line by Reeves for a 6-4 edge.
The Hatters got one back in the top of the sixth when three walks started the frame and a sacrifice fly to centerfield by Patrick Mazeika scored K’shawn Smith from third.
The FGCU lead swelled to 9-5 in the bottom of the seventh after loading the bases on two-out hit-by-pitches to Bednar and Dwyer, and a walk issued to Beisner. The Green and Blue took advantage with a bases-clearing double off the base of the left field wall by Rivera, as the Eagles jumped ahead by four runs.
Stetson scored once more in the top of the ninth after a one-out walk and a RBI double to left center from James Rasmussen. It proved to be the final scoring in the inning as the Eagles recorded the final two outs in the game to finalize the 9-6 victory.
FGCU was able to bring in nine runs on 15 hits and a pair of Stetson errors. Eight of the nine hitters in the lineup recorded at least one hit, with seven of the starters recording a pair of hits. Rivera went 2-for-4 in the game with two doubles and three RBI, while Suchy supplied a 2-for-5 night that included a run scored and two RBI on the home run. Additionally, Beisner (2-for-3, BB) and Bednar (2-for-4, HBP) each scored twice in the game, and Reeves hit 2-for-5 in the game with a double, one RBI and one run scored.
Senior right-hander R.J. Brown (Brandon, Fla./Bloomingdale HS) improved to 3-2 in the win, after working 1.2 innings in relief.
Stetson moved six runners around the bags on seven hits. Junior lefty Austin Perez (7-2) was issued just his second loss of the season after going the first 3.2 innings of the night, surrendering six runs (five earned) on nine hits while recording one strikeout.
Highlighted by the Senior Day ceremony prior to the contest which will honor the six-member senior class, the finale of the A-Sun series is set to commence on Saturday at 1 p.m. from Swanson Stadium. The Eagles are prepared to go with junior right-hander Harrison Cooney (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) (5-5, 3.12 ERA) against freshman lefty Adam Schaly (2-3, 5.44 ERA).
Saturday, May 18 – 1 p.m.
FGCU – RHP Harrison Cooney, Jr. (5-5, 19 APP/3 GS, 3.12 ERA, 57.2 IP, 53 K, 26 BB, .235 B/Avg.)
STET – LHP Adam Schaly, Fr. (2-3, 17 APP/9 GS, 5.44 ERA, 46.1 IP, 30 K, 29 BB, .303 B/avg.)
Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCU_Baseball), box score results and recaps will be available at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com throughout the weekend. Tickets for all home contests are available online at www.FGCUATHLETICS.com/tickets or by calling the FGCU ticket office at 239-590-7145.